Gov. Asa Hutchinson is discontinuing his weekly COVID-19 briefings.
Hutchinson announced that his Tuesday, May 4 briefing would be his final briefing dedicated specifically to COVID-19. However, he stated that he would be continuing to hold weekly news conferences.
“I will continue with a weekly news update from my office, so you can expect me to be here every Tuesday because there is other news to cover,” he said.
He said that the discontinuation of the briefings “is not an indication on where we are” in the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, Arkansas saw a significant increase in active cases with a spike of 104, bringing the number of total active cases above 2,000 again. As of Tuesday, there have been 336,462 COVID-19 cases in Arkansas since the beginning of the pandemic and 5,752 deaths.
The weekly press briefings have been held since September 2020. Hutchinson ended the daily press COVID-19 briefings that he began during the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, replacing them with the weekly format. The final daily press conference was held Friday, Sept. 11 in Mena.
Hutchinson told reporters that he expected his press conferences to be “more broad” in the future and address a wider range of topics. “I think that’s a reflection of how we’ve got a lot going on in Arkansas and there’s a lot of other things that I need to talk about,” he said.